Bushmaster Rifles and their reliability.


September 2, 2005, 07:43 PM
Hey guys, are bushmasters reliable?
This is the one that I want.
You guys think this one is reliable, especially with c-mags?


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September 2, 2005, 08:14 PM
Bushmasters are considered to be in the top tier of AR rifles, along with Colt, Armalite and now Rock River. They are well made rifles. I have a Dissipator that is very reliable. The Carbon M-4 is a newer model, but I have not heard anything negative about them.
I have heard that the Beta C mags can be finicky, but i have never used one myself.
Buy the Bushy, you'll love it.

September 2, 2005, 08:26 PM
I've shot several thousand rounds through my Bushmaster Shorty. It just NEVER fails.

September 2, 2005, 08:45 PM
If you stick with aluminium recievers and USGI 20 and 30 round magazines you will be OK.

Commissar Gribb
September 2, 2005, 10:20 PM
I've had problems with mine and wolf ammo.

other than that- it's been good to me.

Gary G23
September 2, 2005, 11:11 PM
If you stick with aluminium recievers and USGI 20 and 30 round magazines you will be OK.


September 3, 2005, 05:42 AM
Well I've only got 1200 rounds through mine, but the only jam it's ever had was caused by my own stupidity. (didn't have my brass catcher on it right and empty couldn't eject)

Have a good one,

Too Many Choices!?
September 3, 2005, 10:02 AM
And I am sooooo tired of all the BS about it has to be clean to work, that I have not cleaned mine in 3 range trips(350rounds of Wolf poly and laquer), and I will still grab it over the AK, if TEOTWAWKI comes(a al Louiisiana :scrutiny: )

September 3, 2005, 11:33 AM
+1 Bushmaster

I have a RRA and my buddy has a Bushy. I have seen his digest thousands of rounds without a hitch.

The trigger isn't as nice as my RRA but other that it is +1 all the way.

September 3, 2005, 10:41 PM
If you stick with aluminium recievers and USGI 20 and 30 round magazines you will be OK.


Why do you guys say that - are the carbon 15 rifles known to have serious problems with reliability, or what? I sure do like the weight of the carb 15 ones.

Bartholomew Roberts
September 3, 2005, 11:05 PM
Bushmaster bought the Carbon-15 design from Pro-Ordnance and significantly improved the reliability over the original design; but it still isn't up to the aluminum receivered ARs. One issue with the current Carbon 15 is that where the nose of the bullet hits below the feed ramp it eventually pocks the plastic to the point that feed problems can develop.

Bushmaster is making a good effort to fix the problems as they crop up; but the AR has 40 years of product development on a very wide scale behind it. It is tough to significantly alter the design and then come up with a product that is as reliable as the tested one.

September 4, 2005, 12:06 AM
broke (and it's the only AR I've ever seen break).

I think it was a fluke though.

I don't think you're getting anything by spending the extra money over a RRA or Eagle (Last time I looked the Bushmasters were a bit more expensive).

And btw
Lightweight is not necessarily a good thing. Heavier guns tend to "shoot better."

September 4, 2005, 10:47 AM
I have had several not work on me. On two of them the gas key (the small gas tube part attasched to the top of the bolt) came loose because they were not properly secured at the factory. The factory did not cinch them down tight enough. After a thousand rounds or so they came loose and resulted in the bolt only coming back about 90%, enough to eject but not enough to feed a new round. Correcte it with locktite and pinching/crimping it down harder. So if you get a bush master be sure to do that to begin with.

Have also seen bushmaster that after heavy wear have other problems as well. The best I have seen seem to be older Colts or Rock River.

September 4, 2005, 03:03 PM
If reliability is a paramount consideration, you will probably want to consider options other than the Carbon-15 and Beta c-mag.

September 4, 2005, 03:25 PM
I have a Bushy M4 and I love it, very accurate and always reliable. I also have a Beta-C with over 5,000 rounds through it. Still going strong without one stoppage of any sort. It sure is alot of fun too. :D

September 4, 2005, 04:09 PM
I have not cleaned mine in 3 range trips

That's not much of a torture test. :scrutiny:

But as to the original question, I do think the bushy is about as good as you'll get reliability wise from the platfrom.

September 4, 2005, 05:24 PM
Thanks, Bart R.

Thin Black Line
September 5, 2005, 06:28 AM
My B's are great. However, I did have one bolt break in half somewhere
around 5000 rds of use. Sent it back to the factory and it was replaced
for free. Probably a metallurgical defect. If I'd had a spare I could've
swapped out and continued shooting. I now have a spare.

Stick with GI mags. But, you can safely use plastic at the target range.

Too Many Choices!?
September 7, 2005, 12:15 AM
Duh!:rolleyes:, but my point is that this rifle has also chewed through OVER a half CASE of WOLF lacquered ammo without a single weapon related hiccup. NO CLEANING AT ALL(~650-700rounds of the dirtiest ammo available,IMHO). I finally cleaned her up as it was killing me having an 850 gun out of,"Tip Top Shape". As it stands now,after having put thousands of rounds down range in varying conditions ,and and at various levels clealiness, I KNOW MYT BUSHIE M4A3AK WILL GO BANG IF THE AMMO WILL :evil:....

PS: If the SHTF in any way, the only level of cleanliness that will TRULY matter is,"Combat Clean", which is very easy with a few essetials(like a seperate carrier group) :)

September 7, 2005, 12:46 AM
My dissipator has gone through thousands and thousands and thousands of rounds, with 4 probs, 2 ammo related:

1) The gas key came loose, (symptom: short stroking) easy to fix once I diagnosed the problem
2) Two FTEs, one related to a soft case, the other because I hadn't cleaned under the extractor for like 1500 rounds
3) One blown primer. :what: Yikes!

September 7, 2005, 12:51 AM
I don't think I've ever had a failure with Bushies .. wait, yes. I did have an old 16-incher fail consistently on one mag, but it was the mag that was pooched -- the mag latch hole was cut too high in the body, and didn't get the round up high enough for the bolt to consistently grab it.

I'm not swayed on the plastic ARs.. possible reliability issues aside (and never having owned one, I couldn't say) I'm not sold on the weight savings. Pick up a stripped AR receiver sometime -- it's already superlight in aluminum. Most of the weight in an AR comes from the barrel and all the gizmos, far as I can tell.

Personally though, when I get around to getting an AR again, it'll prolly be a Rock River -- both work just dandy, but the finish and trigger on the RRAs I've seen has been better on average than the Bushies. That could be a sample size issue though.

September 7, 2005, 03:37 AM
My 2 Bushies are flawless.

The only problem they've ever had was with cheapo used Orlites, but that's not the gun's fault.

With good mags, and any ammo I've fed, they're unflappable.

September 7, 2005, 04:33 AM
bushmaster rifles run great but why would you buy a super light rifle and then hang a half ton of magazine off it?

September 7, 2005, 03:23 PM
Bought a Bushy XM15E2S 20" fluted barrel A2 style.

Failed right out of the box. Bad ejector and over torqued barrel. Got it fixed and traded it for a SA M1 Garand.

Burn me once shame on you. Burn me twice shame on me. I won't ever buy another Bushmaster anything. Will be staying with RRA, DPMS and Olympic Arms.

That Snake symbol on the side is really cool though...

Bottom Gun
September 7, 2005, 06:57 PM
Bushmasters are excellent rifles. Accurate and reliable. Use only GI mags and you won't have any trouble.

September 7, 2005, 10:06 PM
Werewolf, I would recommend you look at LMT and CMT if you are willing to spend the money.

You will not be disappointed.

May 24, 2009, 11:57 AM
i have a Bushmaster XM15 E2S A3 with 11.5" Hbar with 5.5" flash hider it functions flawlessly i love my Bushmaster maybe i will buy a 16" upper later on for it.

May 24, 2009, 12:58 PM
I will tell you on Tuesday. My new Bushmaster is a single shot at the moment using pvri partisan ammo (wolf gold). I bought a few pmags and am going to test it tomorrow so will see if I can get it working.

May 24, 2009, 01:55 PM
I have had my Bushy out twice and had multiple failures to extract with different ammo and different mags. May need to check the chamber out. My other guess would be the extractor. I don't have a lot of experience with AR-15's, by the way.

May 24, 2009, 02:01 PM
I have had good luck with Bushmaster ARs with brass cased ammo...Wolf just will not cycle reliably. I have never tried other steel cased ammo in a Bushy.

May 24, 2009, 02:11 PM
I had an A2 style Bushmaster and never had a problem of any sort with around 1,000 rounds through it. I currently own an Armalite and two Rock Rivers and no problems out of either of them either.

I've run Wolf steel case through the Armalite and Bushy with no problems. I tend to try to avoid using Wolf though, so I have only run perhaps a hundred rounds of it through each. I'm actually kind of suprised people have so many problems out of AR-15's. Even the rattle trap, ancient, and abused M-16's we had in the Army had almost no failures that weren't directly attributed to the equally ancient and abused magazines we had. About the only broken thing I remember was the spring on the ejection port cover on a couple of other's M-16's.

I wonder if quality control was sacrificed to pump out AR's as fast as possible to try to meet the extra demand.

May 24, 2009, 02:20 PM
i have 2 that have had apprx 7500 rounds each, all my reloads, and neither has ever had a single hiccup.

mine have been the most reliable semi auto firearms ive ever owned (perfect)

i had a colt match target rifle that was not as accurate or reliable.

my two were manufactered in 2003, and i think were built for military/police, although i coud be wrong.

on the barrel is stamped the following:

"LE M MP NATO 5.56 HBAR 1/9"

they are identical and are actually serial numbered within 100 of each other (one ends with 1011, and the other ends with 0052) with the same numbers in front of that.

my two also seem to be of better construction than other members here have come to expect from them, such as the gas key staking seen below:


i ran a poll to see if others here thought the staking was sufficient, and it was about 65-3 in favor of the extent of the staking.

i cant speak for others, but mine have been the best rifles ive ever owned.

April 5, 2010, 04:07 PM
my Bushmaster 11.5" Hbar with 5.5 " flash hider has been flawless, its more accurate then the lightweight RRA , i think due to the Heavy barrel absorbs more vibrations.

i am thinking about buying another Bushmaster upper for long range target shooting.

Bushmaster may not be the best in the world but it dont cost an arm or leg like Colt or LMt

April 5, 2010, 05:21 PM
They are not by any stretch of the imagination a top tier brand. They will do fine for most casual shooters but I would not take one to a class.

Honestly though, for the money I feel you can do a lot better.

April 5, 2010, 05:44 PM
I'd skip the Carbon model. Stick with the regular Al rifles. I prefere Magpul p-mags for reliability. Never had any use for a beta mag. I use 2 kydex mag holsters on my belt instead.

Nothing against Bushy, but they've been priced high lately. I can get a LMT or build a BCM for allmost the same cost.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 5, 2010, 05:45 PM
i have a Bushmaster XM15 E2S A3 with 11.5" Hbar with 5.5" flash hider it functions flawlessly i love my Bushmaster

You revived a post from 2005 that was asking about an entirely different product line (the Carbon-15 Rifle) to share with us that your completely different Bushmaster "functions flawlessly?"

I realize that THR is geared towards new shooters, so I am going to use my "inside voice" rather than the words that first popped into my head.

1. The rifle the original poster was asking about has major differences with your rifle from a functional standpoint - it has a different spring, bolt carrier group, lower receiver, etc. etc.

2. The post was almost five years old. In the future, you might want to consider how relevant your post is before reviving long-dead threads.

3. Even if your post had been relevant to the subject at hand, the information you provided verges on worthless. I don't know how you use the rifle, how often you use it, or anything else that would make your description of "flawless" even good on an anecdotal level.

I'm really not trying to be an ass here; but the three points above would go a long way towards more signal and less noise. See FlyinBryan's post for a good example of sharing useful information about performance.

my two also seem to be of better construction than other members here have come to expect from them, such as the gas key staking seen below:

Interesting. The last bolt carrier groups I purchased from Bushmaster are probably as old as this thread; but they had the "chisel across the top" or "screwdriver" staking that Bushmaster used to use. I also saw a Bushmaster M4gery in Academy that was still using that staking as late as 2009. It is nice to see they are doing it according to the manual these days.

April 5, 2010, 05:54 PM
I'd skip the carbon model and stick with the regular design. Bushmaster makes a decent gun, I have one and have had very few problems. If you plan to run the gun hard (over 500 rounds in a single day or sitting), make sure you get good magazines and ensure that the gas keys on the bolt are staked correctly (Bushy can be hit or miss here). Bushmaster batch-tests their bolts and barrels with HP/MPI testing rather than testing every single one. You still are not likely to have a problem, but if peace of mind is that important you can always buy a LMT or BCM bolt carrier group later.

April 5, 2010, 10:57 PM
100% and my favorite ar gun


April 6, 2010, 04:12 PM
I have had my Bushy out twice and had multiple failures to extract with different ammo and different mags. May need to check the chamber out. My other guess would be the extractor. I don't have a lot of experience with AR-15's, by the way.
That was the problem with mine. After 20 or so rounds it would stove pipe ever 2nd or 3rd round fired. Turned out that heat caused the extractor to sieze up. BM replaced the entire bolt assembly but failed to correct the barrel over torque condition noted when the thing was sent back to the factory just days out of the box. Had a local guy fix that and then traded the thing for a garand.

Bartholomew Roberts
April 6, 2010, 04:29 PM

Just a little public service announcement for those who may not have noticed.

April 6, 2010, 04:42 PM
good things never die....so do some bad things

April 6, 2010, 04:54 PM
The shooters at my gun club who own Bushmasters have nothing but good things to say about their customer service. Good (or bad) c/s goes a long way for me when deciding which firearm to invest in.

April 6, 2010, 05:54 PM
I have had my Bushmaster M4orgery since the AWB dies in 04

Its been through several classes and lots of range trips and I have god know how many thousands of rounds through it and its only ever hicupped w/ bad mags and when the ejector spring went

I trust it fully, and would buy any Bushmaster again(unless its the ACR :cool:)

April 7, 2010, 02:34 AM
my first bushmaster was a post bad a2 model, and it ate everything and did it reliably. wolf, brass cased, and i took several training courses with it without an issue.

i later sold it to get an a3 model after the awb stoped, and i have about 3,5000rds through it, it doesn't like steel cased, which is understandable and not a big deal to me, as i use pmc steel cased anyway. GI mags work good, but i have switched to p mags and that is what i use, at work and on my personal ar.

Ragnar Danneskjold
April 7, 2010, 04:21 AM
I bet in an alternate world, the subby posted a new thread asking if Bushmasters were OK, and someone told him to do a search.

Leaky Waders
April 7, 2010, 10:59 AM
My BushMaster xm15 e2s was purchased Apr 2003 - it's got all of the Clinton era evil features - heavy crowned barrel.

To tell the truth I haven't shot it that much - maybe 500-1k rounds? The military surplus rounds aren't all that accurate, sure you can hit a pie plate, but I mean not like varmint/target accurate. To do that you need factory loaded ammo or reloads.

I got a set of dies last week, and am awaiting a powder shipment to see what she can do.

Oh my barrel is marked - "B MP 5.56 NATO 1/9 H BAR"


PS The snake logo looks cool.

April 7, 2010, 12:56 PM
They are not by any stretch of the imagination a top tier brand. They will do fine for most casual shooters but I would not take one to a class.

Honestly though, for the money I feel you can do a lot better.
Ditto, MOR all the way, including but not limited to the following short-cutting(cost-cutting not reflected in the price) measures,
1. BCG are not properly staked(gas key)or MP tested, rather batch tested. Improper staking leads to short stroking which means your weapon is useless, BCG's have been known to shear or fracture during heavy use!
2. Barrels are not mil-spec 1:7 but rather 1:9 which effectively eliminates the reliable shooting of bullets in excess of 69 grs in weight!
3. No M4 Feed ramps, leading to unreliability with hollow or softpoint ammunition!
4. Trigger guard fabricated from cheap plastic, so cheap that they routinely break when opened up to accomadate a gloved hand!
5. Improperly indexed barrels almost a common defect from the factory, trust me, this is a real PIA!
6. Fit & finish amongst the worst in the industry, every Bushmaster I've ever handled has had the finish already flaking and chipping long before even leaving the shop!

Now perhaps the Carbon version is a spectacular representation, perhaps it's not, but the XM15 E2S carbines I've owned and looked at over the last 8 yrs or so were universally chincy, though if you swap out the BCG for a DD BCG you will have gone a long ways towards fixing them, improperly indexed barrels are discovered when trying to attain zero and you find that you must adjust windage all the way to the left or right, trust me on this, it's a common factory defect from Bushy.

April 7, 2010, 08:08 PM
Stardust1 and Azziza this thread was started in 2005. Back then Armalite, Bushmaster and Colt (remember your ABCs) were considered the best brands with RRA gaining ground. Now in 2010 there are obviously better choices.

Leaky Waders
April 7, 2010, 08:45 PM

Here's a picture of my bushmaster, with no flaking finish, and pictures of the sights as sighted at 50 meters. They aren't centered but not indexxed all the way to one side either.

The trigger guard is indeed plastic...I've never opened it, and never plan too. Why would you open it anyways? For gloves? LOL.

The 556/223 is available in a variety of riflings from different companies. None is worse than the other. You just need to choose your rate of twist to most frequently shot round.

MILSPEC doesn't equal 'the best.' However, if you are trying to get your black rifle as close as to what's issued then I can see why one would prefer one black rifle over others.


April 7, 2010, 09:32 PM
^^^1:7 spin stabilizes a much greater variety of bullets, not every Bushy comes from the factory improperly indexed, just a much much higher percentage of them do so as compared to others. I'm sure I could find flaking or chipping on your specimen if given the opportunity to do so, ditto for staking as every single XM15 I've handled in the last five years of production has displayed a gas key improperly staked & batch tested as opposed to magnetic particle tested.

Regardless, they are not the worst examples of an AR, like I said, if you upgrade the components(BCG, re-barrel, ect..)they make a decent weapon, like this one right here is,

Leaky Waders
April 9, 2010, 07:02 PM
Bushmaster Bolt Carrier Group Top, Bravo Company Bolt Carrier Group bottom.

The 1:7 being the best spin is very debatable...again if you're shooting longer bullets, then you want 1:7. If you look at 'the chart' you'll find half of the manufacturers use 1:9 twist. My abolt and remington bolt action 223 have 1:12 twist (I'm pretty sure). If you're reloading then it might be neat to have some variety of twist to help with certain bullets.


April 9, 2010, 10:00 PM
Interesting comparison between the BCG and Bushmaster bolt carrier groups. The BC BCG is clearly finished better, but the staking does not seem to be a quantum leap over the BM. The question for me would be whether or not the rougher finish on the BM really impacts reliability much.

As to the 1:7 twist, I think it is almost a bit of a liability, as most readily stocked .223 ammo is in a grain and length more suitable to the 1:9. The 1:7 twist may stabilize a 55 grain round, but it is going to have double or triple the the MOA groupings the same round would have in a 1:9. Around my area, 55 grain is the easiest ammo to acquire.

Also, the lack of M4 feedramps on a BM hasn't had any impact on reliability that I have ever seen on one. Most of the guys I know with them shoot HP ammo exclusively without issue. Never seen any flaking on a BM, but the parkerizing does seem a bit "chalky", and they clearly aren't finished as nice as an M&P or higher quality gun.

April 9, 2010, 10:30 PM
I feed mine a consistent supply of wolf military classic. Ain't complainin.

April 10, 2010, 12:05 AM
Yes, they are very reliable. Bushmaster makes a very nice rifle.

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